New bill aims to help volunteer fire departments

JACKSBORO - Suiting up is not an easy thing to do, but for many at station 41, it's something they want to do.

Jacksboro VFD Lieutenant, Jack Mathis told us, "Helping out in my community, just being able to do something greater than myself, just being a part of being able to help people, there are people out there that need help and, you know, I felt like it was in me to step up and help those people." 

He said he never thought he would be volunteering as a firefighter until "April of 09 they had a bunch of wildfires here in Jack County and one of them got pretty close to my parents house and it was just kind of one of those deals where it kind of hit close to home and you want to step up and be there for the people when it hits close to their home." 

Jacksboro VFD is one of the many fire departments across the country facing a shortage in firefighters, so Captain Jason Jennings is looking for more brave ones who have Lieutenant Mathis' mindset.

"Especially this time of year, where we're getting more wildland fires," Captain Jennings told us, "It takes a greater number of firefighters and some people may not want to go into a burning building or deal with car crashes but there are so many other things we do." 

Like driving a tanker truck or cleaning up after battling a big fire, and although fighting fires is a dangerous job, the captain said it comes with its rewards.

Captain Jennings added, "Taking care of your own community is a huge reward for me, knowing that our friends and neighbors are taken care of because of the things we do is very satisfying to me." 

Station 41 is like a family, a family these guys are looking to expand.

Signing up to serve your community as a volunteer firefighter is pretty simple, you must be 18 years old and out of high school.

If you're interested, contact the volunteer fire department in your area and follow their recruitment process. 

The current bill is still in its early stages, you follow the progress by clicking on S. 2207


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